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to the Editor
Sen. Jim Demint encourages domestic drilling of oil
Sen. Jim Demint
posted July 2, 2008
2008 is a year of records: Gas prices continue to reach record highs
while congressional approval ratings continue to hit record lows. I'm
afraid these two numbers have a lot to do with one another.
Gas prices are now over $4 a gallon and are putting real strains on
American families. And while these families are hurting, Congress
continues to throw more salt in the wound. Many congressmen
continue to vote against domestic oil exploration while at the same
time decrying America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Right here at home, we have an abundance of resources that would
increase the amount of energy available to Americans, lower gas prices
and keep American dollars here instead of flowing overseas to the
Middle East and south to anti-American dictators.
First, reports indicate that there are more than 86 billion barrels of
oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Outer Continental
Shelf. Unfortunately, Congress put this area off-limits in the
early 1980s, and efforts to open it up have been fought at every turn.
Some say we shouldn't be allowed to explore for natural gas and oil off
our coast, but I disagree and I always have. I believe each state
should be allowed to make this decision.
Under the right circumstances, we could safely access energy that would
help lower gas prices. Also, the royalties each state receives from
these leases could be used to improve the condition of our beaches and
coastal wetlands, creating a real win-win opportunity.
Second, it is estimated that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge holds
more than 10 billion barrels of oil. That is about the same as the
amount of crude oil we import from Saudi Arabia over 20 years. The
resources from this region would be helping us today were it not for
President Clinton vetoing legislation in 1995 allowing exploration.
Finally, the Green River Basin that runs through Utah, Colorado and
Wyoming is rich in oil shale. It is estimated that more than 800
billion barrels of oil is recoverable in this region ‹ the equivalent
of 100 years worth of oil imports.
If America can utilize the resources in our own backyard while also
encouraging cheaper alternative sources of energy such as nuclear
power, we can begin to work toward a more sustainable energy policy.
Indeed, energy security is within our grasp if Congress will back off
its opposition to any and all efforts to develop these American
But while Congress is burying its head in the sand on domestic energy
exploration, it is busy trying to make the problem worse with a new
climate tax bill that will drive the price of energy even higher.
According to multiple studies, the so-called “cap and trade” bill would
increase gas prices at the pump by as much as $2 and would cost the
average American household more than $8,000 in the next 10 years.
Europe tried this idea, and now gas costs almost $9 a gallon
there. Between the high price of gas and the additional punitive
measures Congress wants to implement, it is no wonder this Congress
suffers dismal approval ratings.
Recently the President called on the Democrat Majority in Congress to
work on behalf of the American people. He asked Congress to vote to end
its long-standing ban on deep-sea oil and gas exploration. He also
challenged Congress to act on energy measures that allow exploration in
Alaska and the Green River Basin.
Rhetoric in Washington about affordable energy prices and weaning
America off foreign oil is cheap. Unfortunately for Americans, gas is
not. It is time for Congress to allow Americans to use their own energy
resources so we can all pay less.
There are two action points I would like you to consider –
#1 - If you have not yet, please visit Newt Gingrich’s American
Solutions website and sign the petition demanding that Congress Drill
Now to solve our energy crisis. Click
here for link.
#2 – Visit
my campaign website at JimDemint.com and sign up to receive our
online email updates. Joining our team will keep you better
informed of a whole host of conservative issues that are working their
way through the US Congress. We will also update you on the
progress of some “not so” conservative issues as well…
Thanks for reading this and for all that you do to make America
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JAM Straight Customs
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